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Bryson's Hypnobabies Birth

I had a lot of pre-labor before I actually gave birth.  Saturday Night (October 15th) I was up a lot with pressure waves.  I ended up not going to church and trying to rest on Sunday.  Of course they slowed down during the day.   Sunday night I had more of the same thing… it was irritating, but easy to handle.  Monday I had a Dr. Apt.  I was at 4 cm and Dr. K stripped my membranes and we scheduled an induction for Wednesday, I was already 41 weeks. 

Monday afternoon and evening I was so tired.  I rested while Rob put the boys to bed, I tried to sleep but couldn’t until around 9.  I was awoken around 1am with pressure waves.  They were “painful” in a crampy sort of way, not horrible, but enough to wake me up if I was sleeping.  So I finally got up and sat on the couch listening to my hypnosis.  I found that if I was doing my hypnosis that the pressure waves didn’t bother me as much, because I could tell they were coming and relax through them, but when I went back to bed, they would shock me awake.  The pressure waves were coming every 5-7 min, for about 3 hours, but there was a big rain storm outside and I didn’t want to wake everyone up, when I could tell that it would still be awhile. 

I decided I would go into the hospital after we got Devon off to school.  I didn’t want Devon to know we were going to the hospital, in case it was a false alarm.  He would get mad at me each day when I picked him up from school that the baby wasn’t born yet, so I could only imagine how mad he would get if he actually knew we were going to the hospital and then the baby didn’t come. 

So after a LONG night and grumpy morning, Rob finally got Devon off to school, I dropped Carson off at Jenn’s.  Everyone (well Rob and the kids) were irritating me, I just wanted to be alone.  I did some hypnosis on the couch.  My pressure waves had spread out to every 10 minutes again, so I was getting frustrated about that.  I was fine and was tempted not to go in.   I had called Alison (my doula) to let her know what was going on.  She called back around 10:30 and said I should go into the hospital, they would let me stay and I didn’t need another sleepless night before I gave birth.  I really did want to go in, and it helped to have Alison back me up on that. 

Once I decided I wanted to go I was READY.  Rob wanted to finish up an e-mail, which was taking him forever. I got really mad at him, because I was hungry and wanted an Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s but we would never get there in time.  So I made an omelet.  Then we also got me a Happy Meal as we drove to the hospital.  So I wasn’t as grumpy after I ate.  I was pretty hungry and really wanted to have good protein before I got to the hospital.  I had packed snacks… but wanted something substantial.  I don’t know if a hamburger from McDonald’s counts, but it sounded good at the time. 

When we got to Labor and Delivery, we went into the triage room, Penny was my nurse.  She got me hooked on the monitors, the baby looked good, and they were picking up my pressure waves.  I had to focus through them.  The nurse checked me around noon and I was a 5, with a bulging bag of water.  So I would get to stay.  Hooray!  We called Alison and Jenn (she was in charge of the boys).  Rob was so excited Alison was coming.  By 1:00 we were settled in our room 283.

I got a new nurse, Julia I think.  She was nice and supportive of our hypnosis; she would whisper in the room and stayed away as much as possible.  She only would come back to adjust the monitors, as the baby would slip off, or my pressure waves were looking weird.  I was continuously monitored because it was a VBAC.  The hospital has telemetric monitors, so I was able to walk around the hallway, rock in the chair, sit on my ball.  I moved around a lot, it seemed like if I was sitting down, the pressure waves slowed way down.  So I walked a lot, but the pressure waves weren’t regular…. Lots of little ones and a big one here and there.  They were totally manageable, but it did hurt, in a crampy sort of way.   I was listening to my birthday affirmations during this time and was chatty with Rob and Alison between the pressure waves.  I think now this was one reason why they hurt.  I wasn’t really using my hypnosis at this time.  I would say peace, peace, peace to get through each contraction and that would help… but I wasn’t fully in hypnosis.

I knew Dr. K would be coming back around 5 to check on me… so around 3 or 3:30 I said I wanted to lie down and listen to my birth guide and see what happened.  Lying down was the easiest way for me to relax.  I had never gotten good at practicing hypnosis in any other position.  So I lay down and told Alison to tell me when it was 4:30 so the nurse could check me and we could decide what we wanted to do.  I was able to focus, but each pressure waves was still a little crampy.    The finger drop didn’t work, the thing that did help was to whisper, “Peace, peace, peace.”  This was the only way Rob and Alison knew I was having a pressure wave.  (Or by looking at the monitor, which Rob loved to do, something about men and electronics.)  Then in the birthing guide CD it reminded me to have my partner touch my shoulder and say relax at the beginning of a pressure waves.  I had Alison and Rob start doing that and it really helped.  The pressure waves got into a more regular pattern and they were easier to deal with.  I think it was because I was finally using the hypnosis to its full potential. 

Dr. K came in at 4:30.  She had been next door delivering a baby.  Apparantly that woman was VERY loud.  The nurse apologized for the noise.  I hadn’t heard anything.  I assumed that we just couldn’t hear it in our room, but Rob and Alison had heard it and had wondered if I was hearing it.  But I was so into my hypnosis I didn’t hear anything, except my CD.

I decided to have Dr. K check me.  I was still at 5cm and my bag of water was bulging.  So I decided to have her break my water.  I was nervous, because when my water got broken with Carson, it started to hurt after that, so I was worried that would happen again.  (During the Fear Release hypnosis, I had focused more on Devon’s birth, because that was a scary situation.  Carson’s birth was so wonderful compared to Devon’s, I didn’t think about it and what issues it would raise during this birth.  Being nervous about having my water broken was one of those issues.)

When she broke my water and it gushed and gushed and gushed and flooded the bed.  Then I wanted to get up so the baby could get settled on the cervix (I don’t remember doing this with Carson and maybe part of the reason I stayed stuck at a 7 with him)  so they put on 2 big pads and I stood up on a chuck pad and I gushed and gushed and gushed some more.  There was a lot of fluid in there. 

The Birth Guide CD was amazing.  It seemed to be saying exactly what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it.  Either during or right before Dr. K broke my water, in the CD it said when your water releases you will feel a rush of anesthesia.  It was perfect timing and it worked!  After my water was broken the pressure waves were no longer painful.  I think before with all of the water they weren’t able to be effective and my body perceived that as pain.  Once they were able to work effectively and open the cervix I felt more comfortable with them.   They were still as intense and I had to focus through them, but they didn’t hurt, they almost felt good.   I just know before my water broke I felt the pressure waves were painful in a crampy way and after I didn’t attribute pain to them.    (Later in the week when I was getting a massage, I thought of it this way… when you have a crick in your neck, it hurts when you move a certain way.  Then you get a massage and if they are rubbing the knot it kind of hurts but in a good way… a hurt that feels good, because you know it is helping.) 

I stood up through some pressure waves, and then I sat on the birth ball for awhile.  I was focused and fine, better than before.   Time started moving faster, I think because my body knew this was it.  Rob left to get a quick bite to eat.  I wouldn’t have even known if Allison didn’t tell me.  I was happy relaxing on my birth ball totally in my own world… in my birthing zone. 

I moved to the rocking chair for awhile.  Whenever I switched to a new position the pressure waves would get really intense at first.  Alison was great with this, she would say, let’s stay here for 2 pressure waves and see how it goes.  My body would always adjust and I would be able to relax again.  Here is a great reason to have a doula.  I think Rob would have picked up on my nervousness at the intensity change with each new position and gotten nervous himself, Alison was very calm and reassuring, which helped me to stay calm.

At some point before I got in bed I was starting to feel some rectal pressure.  This made me nervous.  (Another fear that cropped up from Carson’s birth.  When I started feeling that with him, I was at 7 cm and was “stuck” there for 3 hours.  The nurse had me pant through some of those pressure waves with him so I wouldn’t want to push.  That made me lose focus and get out of my hypnosis with Carson and led to me getting an epidural.   So another fear that I didn’t deal with which came up later in THIS birth when I was told to pant.) 

Around 6 pm I moved back to the bed, this must have been right as transformation was starting.  I could tell I needed to be able to completely relax and I couldn’t in the rocking chair or on the ball.  So I got into the bed.  Again with the change in position, things got really intense.  I started getting overwhelmed.  Alison helped keep me calm and focused.  She wasn’t freaked out by it… I don’t know if Rob was at that point.  I started saying “peace, peace, peace” loudly instead of whispering it.   (Apparantly I wasn’t saying it loudly according to anyone else, I was just saying it audibly instead of whispering.)  I was still able to relax through the pressure waves, but it took tremendous focus.  It was easy to completely relax between them.  I LOVED the birth guide it was perfect, the timing continued to be great on everything I heard.

Around 6:30 I started wanting to push and asked to be checked.  The nurse checked me and I was an 8-9.  It is funny because at that point I made a mental note… too late for an epidural now.  It was a good mental shift for me, not that I wanted an epidural, but just knowing I had no choice was helpful for me to keep going.   Relief from all this focusing/work was not even an option.  I was relieved that I had progressed.  I was probably a little afraid I would be stuck like I was with Carson, that maybe I was still a 5. 

I now feel like I was yelling “peace, peace, peace” and “open, open, open” through each pressure wave. (I wasn’t yelling according to everyone else.)  The pressure waves felt really close to me, but I have no idea, as time was very weird and things seemed so fast and so slow at the same time… it was like there was no time.  Overall time was speeding by, I had no idea how much time had passed since my water was broken, nor did I care. 

I started involuntarily pushing a little bit, my body just needed to.  Dr. Han checked me  and I had a little lip, so I couldn’t push yet or my cervix wouldn’t swell.  This was the HARDEST part of the whole birth.  My body NEEDED to push, but I had to fight that urge.  (I was scared to pant, because of the whole losing focus with that technique during Carson’s birth.)  Again, thank goodness for Alison, she kept me focused and was able to convince me as much as possible not to push.  So through a number of pressure waves I tried panting/blowing instead.  Alison had me blow with her, which helped give me something to focus on.  Sometimes I would push, I just couldn’t NOT push.  I would yell, open, open, open.  I was so tired, I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore.  I think I had to blow through about 6 or 7 pressure waves.  After about 4 I said I couldn’t do it anymore, Alison looked at me and said, let’s do 2 more pressure waves and then you can get checked again.  I agreed to that… “2 more, 2 more, I can do that.”  I could still easily relax between. 

Then I heard Allison tell the nurse, if she still has a lip, let’s get her on her hands and knees.  I remember thinking, “what a great idea.”  But I know on my own I would never been able to think of that and verbalize it and implement it on my own.  I wouldn’t have been able to ask for help to do it, I was too focused on getting through things.  I don’t think Rob would have been able to do that either.  Hence, another benefit of a doula.  J  Just knowing she was on my side, and would help me get rid of that lip if it wasn’t gone, helped so much.    

By this point Rob was freaking out a little bit.  He had started videotaping things.  The look on his face was one of concern or trepidation.  I wish I had a picture of his face.  He felt bad for me not being able to push.  Alison had a look of wow this is so great on here face, so I focused on her.  J 

Luckily the lip was gone after those 2 pressure waves.  I was so glad and started pushing.  The nurse said, “Stop, we need the Dr. here and we need to break the bed down.”  I was like, “Whatever people, I am pushing, I don’t care if a Dr. is here or not.”  I didn’t say this, but thought it.  IT was ok to push, so I was pushing.  I was a yeller grunter kind of pusher.  It was so powerful.  I really didn’t choose to do anything, it just happened.  I would try to remember to breathe the baby out, but my body wouldn’t have that.  But between pressure waves I would sometimes be breathing the baby down.  I was nervous it would hurt while pushing… but I didn’t feel any pain during this part.  Pressure yes and I felt the baby moving down and the stretching… but it all felt good.  

Dr. H made some comment, like "You will feel a lot of pain... the ring of fire and I will need you to listen and stop pushing when I say."  I remember thinking, I haven't felt any pain yet, why should I now.  AND I didn't feel any pain.  Our minds are really amazing!  

At some point I reached down and felt the baby’s head.  Alison asked if I wanted a mirror.   I didn’t.   I didn’t need anything to make it more real.  My body knew exactly what to do.  With Carson I needed one to help me focus on what I was doing, because I couldn’t feel anything.  This time, I needed nothing to help me focus, my body took over.  It was interesting because I wasn’t even really thinking of the baby very much at this point or even why I was pushing, it was all just happening on its own.  I had taken off the headphones at some point.  I think while I was blowing through the pressure waves when I couldn’t push. 

Devon, my 7 year old had wanted to be there at the birth.  I was fine with that, but when it was the actual day I thought I might not want him there and it was getting close to pushing, Rob asked if I wanted to call Jenn to bring Devon.  I decided no.  I am glad Devon wasn’t there.  I was really loud.  If it was overwhelming to Rob, imagine how Devon would perceive it.  Luckily we had warned Devon that sometimes babies are born really fast, so he might miss the actual birth. 

Between pressure waves I was still completely relaxed.  Probably 1 or 2 before he came out I remembered I was actually having a baby.  I started reminding people of things… I told the Dr., “I don’t want his cord cut until it stops beating; Rob is to cut the cord.”  The nursery lady was there getting the bed warmed up.  I told her, “I don’t want he baby taken away from me, he is to be on my stomach.” 

I only pushed for 10-12 minutes and then the nurse said with the next pressure wave I think he can be born, if you push without noise, really bear down.  So for the last pressure waves I did that… I was ready for him to come out, so I felt fine pushing like that . Suddenly I felt his head come out, that was amazing. They suctioned him.  Then more pushing and his body was coming out.  Wow, that was the most incredible feeling ever!  Then there he was being lifted onto my stomach.  He was a bit tangled in his cord, but Dr. Han unwrapped him without cutting his cord and then he was there on top of me, cord still pulsing.  It was astonishing I had a baby.  It was unbelievable that he was in me and now he was here.  I was overwhelmed with the feeling of, “I did it; I can’t believe I did it.”

The nursery nurse rubbed him with some blankets and he started crying.  She covered us up and left us alone.  He was born at 6:59 right at shift change.  So the new nursery nurse came in, introduced herself.  Took his temperature while he was still on me, said he was great, that she would leave and we could call her when we were ready, then she left us alone. 

I had torn, (I had never done perineal massage… wish I had as I am still a bit sore 2 weeks later)  so he stayed on my stomach while Dr. Han sewed me up.   That did hurt a bit, she gave me a shot, but I still felt it.  I interpreted that more as pain than any of the pressure waves.   I remember feeling the placenta being delivered.  She didn’t give me any pitocin even though I was still bleeding.  My doula was impressed with how hands off she was for the whole birth.  Alison asked if she had done many unmedicated births.  Dr. Han had worked at Kaiser before, so she had seen a lot.  While she finished stitching me up, I reveled in my baby and his birth.

Here is what I wrote about it that night…   “That was amazing, beautiful, a miracle.  Everything I wanted and more.  I feel so empowered that I gave birth, completely unmediated to a healthy 9 pound baby boy.  He came straight from inside me – onto my chest.  Where he stayed undisturbed for over an hour.  The first 20 minutes or so his eyes stayed closed and he just hung out snuggled to my chest.  Then he started rooting around.  Someone helped me get him latched on – it is funny you forget how to do these things, he has a STRONG suck- he went to town – then slowly he started opening his eyes –looking around at the world – at me, his mom.  It was honestly almost surprising to see a BABY laying on me.  I actually have another baby of my own.  I am so blessed.  He looks like his own little person.”

Dr. Han finished up, the nurse covered me up, I got the baby latched on and THEN Tara, Jenn and the boys arrived.  Perfect timing for the boys to get there.  Carson threw up in the hallway before he came in, it turned out he was at the beginning of a 24 hour flu.  We let him in to see the baby for a few minutes, we all sang Happy Birthday and then sent him home with Jenn.  She is an awesome friend… dealing with my throwing up boy… he even threw up in her car.  (So sorry Jenn, I owe you big time!)   

Devon stayed until Rob went home at 10:30.  He got to see the placenta and the umbilical cord… we had the nurse save them to show him.  He got to see the baby’s first bath and was there when he was weighed, got footprints to bring to school.  He was so excited. 

Tara had hoped to see the birth, but missed it by about 15 minutes.  I was glad she was able to come, better late than never!  She took some pictures, she also took Devon on a walk, while I got out of bed and they cleaned me and things up.  Thanks Tara! 

I am so glad Alison was there.  I would never have another baby without a doula.  I don’t think Rob would either.  I think every woman should have a doula with her during their birthing time!  Thank you Alison, we appreciate ALL you did. 

Bryson’s birth was everything I wanted.  I couldn’t ask for more.  I have 3 healthy boys, a great husband and another beautiful birthing day, the best of all 3.   If I was to change anything.  I would have just had Dr. K break my water earlier in the day.  That allowed things to move forward and my pressure waves to be effective.  

How long was my labor?  If I count from Monday night at 1 AM, then 18 hours.  But I think from 1 AM until they broke my water was prodromal labor.  So if you count from 4:30 pm until 7 PM it was 2 ½ hours.  I pushed with Carson for almost 3 hours, so in comparison this was speedy!  That is what Rob kept commenting on, it went so FAST. 

I just watched the video tape and it was amazing to see me SO relaxed.  It was true when I was 9cm I was just saying “peace, peace, peace” not yelling.  I look completely relaxed in the video, like I am taking a nap.  Pretty amazing.  I was there and it still is amazing to see it. 

Watching me push him out was incredible.  Rob videotaped ALL of it, not a video I would share with anyone else. (I actually have shared it with quite a few people... I am so proud of how I did and want everyone to see how great birth can be!)   But I am glad I am now able to see what happened.  I can tell I am still in hypnosis between pushes, I look like I am sleeping.  I highly recommend reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.  In it she talks about how our bodies can open up and expand to fit our baby.  That is what I saw in the video.  Our bodies are so incredible, if we can just trust in them and let nature take over birthing can be incredible!

I am so grateful that I used Hypnobabies for this birth.  It prepared me in so many different ways.  I was more informed than with any other birth.  I was able to plan ahead for what I wanted and ask for it.  I had tools and my husband and doula had tools to help me have a wonderful birthing day.  I wish every mother knew about how hypnosis can empower them in childbirth.  Thank you Kerry for your program!  Thank you Carole for being a great teacher!  I wish happy wonderful births for everyone.